February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

My son, John, at the ripe old age of almost six, has already decided who he is going to marry. She is a neighborhood girl we will call "Julia." A month ago, when I asked him who he wanted to play with, he said, "Julia. I wuv Juwia and want to mawwy her." That is good enough reason, I suppose. In setting up the playdate, I told Julia's mom about his intentions. She laughed and said that we should start planning the ceremony for right after they graduate from college. They are in the same Sunday school class and they both like Tae Kwon Do, though she is a level above him, so that if he tried anything, she could kick his butt :-).

To prepare him for his playdate, I told him that Julia might want to play with Barbies at some point and that he might need to play with her and then let her play legos. The girls assured him that she had a Ken doll so that he wouldn't have to play with girl dolls and he was okay with that. I had visions of Ken shooting Barbie or fighting bad guys to protect her. After the playdate, the mom told me that John and Julia played well together and that he had a really funny response when he asked her to play legos with him. Julia told him that she would be right there and John replied, "Okay, but if you don't come soon your Barbies are going to DIE!!!!!" "I'm coming, I'm coming, she replied and hurried off to the lego room. Julia has two older brothers with a lego collection that rivals ours. Fortunately, she also likes to play with legos.

Today, when we were in the car, Jessi reminded everyone that it was Valentine's Day, a holiday that largely gets ignored in the Overtoom house because we have a better day to celebrate: February 25th was the day Eric and I decided to pursue a relationship. John replied, "When I am with Julia, love overwhelms my heart. That is why I want to marry her." Hearing that come from a not-quite six year old is both precious and funny. It also makes me wonder if some daughter is stashing romance novels and reading them to him. I can't think of any books that he reads or any movies that he has watched that involve romance other than the recently released "Tangled" and "Ella Enchanted." And there is no gushing about love overwhelming them in those movies. It is also interesting that a little boy is occasionally inserting love and romance amid the shooting noises, explosions, and lego creations.

All I know is that I need to treasure these precious sayings in my heart.

February 6, 2011

A New Computer for a Midwestern Girl


Earlier this week, as I was dealing with colds, fever and coughing ravaging my home, my Dell had a terminal problem.  Terminal as in gone, dead, taking the big sleep, going to that big computer shop in the sky.    It had been slowing down considerably over the past month or so and restarting it helped a little bit.  We had replaced the keyboard and the external hardrive, but it was getting bogged down and freezing up more and more frequently.  Unfortunately, I helped it along in its demise.  I had just butted heads with my eldest and frustrated with her, when I see that the computer, which I had tried to shut down to give it a break thirty minutes earlier, had not yet taken the last step toward shutting down.  I gave it a slap of frustration and another slap of frustration for the problem between me and my daughter and yet a third slap of frustration at the way I dealt with the situation.  Apparently, hard drives do not like being slapped, especially old hard drives.  When I tried to boot it up again, I received an error message that talked about re-installing the OS.  Not a good thing.  When I gave my computer guru husband the message on the computer during his lunchtime call, he agreed that it was not a good message.  No matter how much he worked on my old computer, it wouldn’t work.  So now, I am typing on my brand new HP computer and my husband and I are working to get everything onto this new computer.  He is doing most of the work because I am still encumbered by fever and coughing and the urge to sleep through most of the day.  By the end of the week, I hope to have the flu bug banished and my computer set up with all the stuff I am used to having.  My biggest hurdle will be trying to transfer my Tapestry of Grace DE licence from my old computer to my new one.

And now for something completely different…

I have been living in Arizona now for almost two years and yet, I still consider myself a Midwesterner.  I like what my pastor has said many times.  He grew up in Iowa and loves Hawkeye football and everything Iowa…but not enough to live there.  I am feeling a little bit the same way.  I love the Midwest, although I do NOT miss shoveling snow and enduring the month of February and March when rain and snow keep us inside for way too long.  But I love the Midwest at a distance and, if there is a Midwest team in the Superbowl or the Final Four or any other championship series, I will root for that team.  Of course, I would prefer the midwestern team competing in the championship to be a Chicago team.  This year, Green Bay denied Chicago a chance at Superbowl stardom, so my husband rooted for Pittsburgh.  Green Bay, even though they are archrivals to the Bears, are a Midwestern team, so I was rooting for them.  I have a feeling that my husband will be banishing me to the couch tonight and not because I have a cold and fever, either. He was not happy that three of the four kids took sided with me.  When Green Bay scored their third touchdown, he and the young, temporary Packer fans exchanged razzberries until I reminded them that some of them still had fevers and that sending saliva all over everybody might not be a good idea.  I’m just glad I chose a comfy couch. 

February 5, 2011

Catching a ride on the flu train

My kids never get sick on Saturday. At least hardly ever does a bug show up on Saturday. It is always on Sunday evening that we see the first signs of infection, so that we can share with all of our church friends. Last Sunday evening, Kyle started showing symptoms of not feeling good. He didn't each much at dinner and voluntarily went to sleep. Sure enough, he woke up on Monday with a fever. We didn't show up for the sports program, limiting our outing to music lessons for the girls. Kyle did a little school when the advil kicked in, but otherwise read and slept on Monday when we returned home. Unfortunately, it meant that he missed the Wolf promotion ceremony. He is still officially a wolf cub, but didn't get to stand in front of everybody and receive his pin and other stuff.

Kyle's fever didn't break until Tuesday night, at which time, John was not feeling great. I should have kept John from karate class, but it really didn't show up until after he took the class. Great, his teacher hugged him at one point. There goes another person down with the flu. John got to watch a lot of TV because he can't read yet, which brought some complaint from Kyle. I tried to do school in between checking on John.

John's fever broke Wednesday afternoon at which time Elizabeth started coughing. On me. Several times. At that point, my husband and I started exchanging "air kisses" so that he wouldn't get anything from me. By the next day, Elizabeth and a were conducting a coughing concerto each day and evening when our cough medicine stopped working. We were also downing lots of lemon water with honey. I need to give the girl's horseback teacher a thank you note as she gave us a ton of oranges and lemons from her tree. At night, I would add some brandy to mine, an old Overtoom cold remedy. We did a little bit of school that day, but not everything on the schedule was accomplished. Thursday is usually a lighter day anyway.

We gave up all pretenses of school on Friday and watched a couple of episodes of "Blue Planet" as well as some shows of "Jelly Telly," a new kids program from one of the original creators of Veggie Tales. Elizabeth and I were feeling pretty bad. I took two naps that day, aided by the kids being quiet.

I think the cold is culminated with me today. I ran a fever last night and have a horrible cough that is doing absolutely nothing to relieve congestion. My throat is raw from coughing. And now, Kyle is starting to cough, which he didn't experience in the first round of illness. So far, Jessi and Eric have been successful at avoiding the train. May they miss the ride completely. My plan is to completely clean the house today to wipe out any germ that might be thinking of sticking around and infecting others. I need to start soon before the advil wears off. And I am hoping that all the work will loosen the gunk in my lungs.